Home of cricket inspires Ealing Youngsters
England wicket-keeper batsman, Sam Billings, inspired over 80 young people at the Lord’s Taverners Disability Cricket finals last week (12 October), where Ealing won the title at Lord’s Cricket Ground for the first time.
The competition was won by finals debutants Ealing, who went through the entire day undefeated before deservedly keeping their 100% record in the final where they defeated Hackney to ensure they lifted the trophy.
The Lord's Taverners Disability Cricket Championships, a year-round cricket programme supported by the Berkeley Foundation and launched in 2013, aims to provide disabled young people aged 12-25 with the opportunity to engage in regular sporting activity.
With additional funding from the Wembley National Stadium Trust, Sport England and players of the People’s Postcode Lottery, LTDCC provides access to regular coaching and competition in local communities across London.
Weekly cricket sessions are delivered across the capital by Essex, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey County Cricket Boards, within community hub environments. The programme also provides regular opportunities for these hubs to compete with other groups across London and aims to be active in all 32 London boroughs by September 2018.
The programme helps participants to develop their physical fitness as well as confidence, motivation, self-esteem and communication skills, while local people are trained to become qualified coaches to make the programme self-reliant and sustainable.
Charles Nelson, director of inclusive learning at Southall Community College, from where Ealing’s team is drawn, had this to say about his team:“They get a huge enjoyment out of playing the game – you can see that,” he says.“Teamwork really brings people out of themselves – and we’ve got so many different people with differing disabilities playing in that team, getting that communication going.”
Ealing Head Coach, Conrad Scott, added: "We’ve tried to make it fun, but we also tell them it is part of developing their social skills and integration, organisational skills and planning.”
Watch video highlights from the 2017 finals below
Teams from the following boroughs took part in the finals:
Since its launch in 2013, the programme has provided accessible sporting opportunities, and the chance to play competitive cricket, for over 2,000 young people with a physical, learning, or sensory disability, across 29 London boroughs.
Stuart Cowen, Chief Executive of the Berkeley Foundation said: “This is a great example of how the public, private and voluntary sectors can work together with a real sense of social purpose. We are proud to support these young cricketers and delighted that in the fifth year of Berkeley’s support in 2018, the programme will be delivered in all 32 London boroughs.”
Chief Executive of the Lord’s Taverners, Paul Robin, said: “This was our biggest and best Disability Cricket Finals yet and it was fantastic to see all the players, coaches, parents and carers, go home with a smile on their face. Thanks to the support of the Berkeley Foundation we’ll be able to deliver the programme in all 32 London boroughs next year and we’re excited about taking the programme to Birmingham and Manchester for the first time in 2018.”
Following the success of the programme in London, the programme will be expanding to other locations across the country. Activity is already taking place in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Sussex, with Birmingham and Manchester being next on the list of places to benefit from the programme.
For a full gallery of the day, click here.